A High Court in Ado Ekiti has sentenced to life in prison a former Vice Principal of St. Mary’s Girls Grammar School, Ikole-Ekiti, Taiwo Ajayi, after fi nding him guilty of raping a 12-year-old in 2014. Th e court said Ajayi committed the off ence against Section 31(2) of the Child Rights Law of Ekiti State 2012. Th e convict was the Vice Principal (Academics) at the time he committed the off ence on March 18, 2014. Ajayi reportedly lured the girl into his offi ce, locked the door from behind and raped her on the table while covering her mouth with a piece of cloth.
A teacher had knocked on the door while Ajayi was carrying out the act, but he refused to open the door, and warned his victim not to tell anybody. Two of the school teachers were, however, said to have forced the door open after 30 minutes and caught Ajayi in the very act. Delivering the judgment, Justice Oluwatoyin Abodunde held that the prosecution had proved the case beyond every reasonable doubt on the strength of evidence placed before the court. Th e prosecution was led by A. E. Arogundade of the Ministry of Justice while the defence was led by Sule Longe. Th e convict was fi rst arraigned in court on October 14, 2016 and he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
“Th e cases of child defi lement have been on the increase lately and to serve as a deterrent to others, my view is that the punishment stipulated by the lawmakers was deliberate to deter the off ence and protect the right to dignity of the child,” the judge said. “Th e defence counsel is pleading for leniency and praying for fi ne instead of the due punishment. My question is: who pays the victim for the lifetime scar of the trauma and torture of rape. “I am unable to deviate from the provisions of the law in this instant. Th e defendant is found guilty as charged and sentenced to life in prison.”